Remember King Cyrus of Persia defeated the Babylonians and allowed the Jews to return to Israel to rebuild their temple (just as Isaiah had prophesized hundreds of years before). Some stayed, but many, led first by Zerubbabel (say that 5 times fast!), made the long journey back to Israel to rebuild their lives and their temple. Ezra led a second group and helped the people remember that God had not forgotten them. Ezra read from the scriptures while the people built the temple. A fellow Jew, Nehemiah was a member of the Persian king’s high court. When he heard that the walls of Jerusalem were still broken down and the people were still being attacked regularly, he asked the king for help. The king made Nehemiah governor of Judah and gave him authority to rebuild the city walls. Nehemiah led a third group of Jews back to Jerusalem. Everyone worked hard together and the walls were rebuilt in only 52 days!
Below are 2 worksheets to help remember the story!